MIR: Expedition 6
|Given names:||Anatoli Yakovlevich||Aleksandr Nikolayevich|
|Spacecraft (Launch):||Soyuz TM-9||Soyuz TM-9|
|Launchtime:||06:16 UTC||06:16 UTC|
|Spacecraft (Landing):||Soyuz TM-9||Soyuz TM-9|
|Landingtime:||07:33 UTC||07:33 UTC|
|Mission duration:||179d 01h 17m||179d 01h 17m|
|Given names:||Gennadi Mikhailovich||Gennadi Mikhailovich|
Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 72 km northeast of Arkalyk.
Following a two day solo flight Soyuz TM-9 docked with the Soyuz TM-8-MIR-Kvant-Kvant2 complex on February 13, 1990. The sixth resident crew take turning the fifth resident crew.
During docking, cosmonauts aboard MIR noticed that three of the eight thermal blankets (layers of foil vacuum-shield insulation) on the descent module of the approaching Soyuz TM-9 spacecraft had come loose from their attachments near the heat shield, yet remained attached at their top ends. The main concern was that the capsule might cool down, permitting condensation to form inside and short out its electrical systems. There was also fear that the blankets might block the infrared vertical sensor, which oriented the module for reentry.
Three other areas of concern emerged: that the explosive bolts binding the service module to the descent module might fail to work after direct exposure to space, that the heat shield might be compromised by direct space exposure, and that an EVA to repair the blankets might cause additional damage. Consideration was given to flying Soyuz TM-10 with one cosmonaut aboard as a rescue mission.
Supplies with several cargo spaceships of type Progress arrived at the station. The module Kristall (with food containers and the industrial processing units Krater 3, Optizon 1, Zona 02, and Zona 03.) docked with the station on June 10, 1990.
The crew conducted an extensive programme of geophysical and astrophysical research, experiments on biology and biotechnology and work on space materials science. They started the commercial production of crystal in highest quality for an US electronic company. A protein grow experiment was also profitable (25 Million Rubel).
The first EVA was performed on July 17, 1990 (7h 16m) in which spacecraft Soyuz TM-9 was repaired (three of the eight thermal blankets (layers of foil vacuum-shield insulation) on the descent module of the approaching Soyuz TM-9 spacecraft had come loose from their attachments near the heat shield, yet remained attached at their top ends). There have been problems because of a damage of the Kvant2 module hatch. The hatch couldn't be closed, so the cosmonauts were forced to use the emergency airlock of the central compartment of Kvant. Another EVA was performed on July 26, 1990 (3h 31m) to repair the hatch, but failed.
During reentry, the cosmonauts ejected both the orbital module and the service module simultaneously in an effort to minimize the chances that a blanket could snag. Normally the orbital module went first. The descent module suffered no damage as a result of its prolonged exposure to space conditions. Reentry occurred as normal.
Last update on March 31, 2013.